Conflict – Ugh! What is it good for?

Image (this me on my walk in the rain to clear my mind last night. I felt a bit like an old Little Red Riding Hood)

Because my 13th Wedding Anniversary is just around the corner, it seems to make perfect sense that me and DH would get into one of the worst arguments we have had in years.

Two years ago, we had to remove our deck and have been left without an outdoor hang out space.  This coming weekend it looks like the stars have aligned the weather gods are smiling upon us and we are all set to start on our patio project this weekend.

Since DH and myself plan things very differently, I thought it was a good idea to sit down after dinner last night and get a gameplan.  After about 2 minutes, it was clear that my language and his language were lightyears apart.  I resorted to my method of thinking of things and got out the trusty dry earse board and draw our plan out.  I think we would both agree that our plans had the same outcome, but the way were got there was way different.

Needless to say, the conversation deteriorated and I am sitting here this morning with having only said a handful of words to DH since last night and wondering how to move forward.

I think conflict is a necessary part of life, but it just doesn’t make it any easier.  Especially when its with someone you love deeply.  In my quest to find the silver lining in each situation, Today is a New Day.  Better for this argument to take place before heavy machinery is here. We will throughly enjoy that patio once it is finished.

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Are you there Spring?!? It’s Me Sarah!

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I woke up this morning to another 4 inches of snow, its April 18.  This precipitation should be falling as rain. I love the snow in let’s say December, January and maybe even February, but as we get closer get to what should be spring the piles of white stuff make me a little crabby. The old saying says “April showers, bring May flowers.” I always assumed it was rain showers.

 

As I have been working really hard to find the silver lining in any situation, here are a couple of reasons I am happy for the snow:

  1. I get a bit of outdoor cardio. Shoveling is an excellent way to squeak in some cardio and fill the lungs with fresh air!
  2. The precipitation that falls as snow melts slower and will help it to soak into the ground and reduce drought and hopefully help with any flood threats this spring.
  3. I have a couple of more weeks to continue on the Insanity program before I will be baring my arms and legs to the public.
  4. No brown snowbanks! Often this time of year we would be looking at brown dirty snowbanks!  Not around here, we have nice white snowbanks.
  5. No mud is being tracked in the house.  Often this time of year the kids are tracking in dirt and mud from playing outside.  Not now.  Just snow.

Ok, that last one is a stretch.  Yesterday at yoga class we were encouraged to meditate for sunny warm weather.  I encourage all of you to try! Afterall it can’t hurt!

Insanity and New Hair

Well, I would first like to apologize my lack of upkeep on this site. I have 2 additional sites that i have been trying to get up an running, but with 3 blogs, I have zero that i have kept up to date.  It makes me sad and mad at myself as lots of exciting things have been going on lately.  Oh well.

As I tell the kids, today is a new day.

Near the first of the year, I embarked on a weight loss fitness/improve my fitness journey.  With the help of my amazing trainer, Geri.  I was able to shed something like 35″ over all in 12 weeks.  I went from walking 30 minutes a day to doing hard interval circuits.  I am stronger and more fit then what i have been in years. Sadly, my training sessions with Geri has expired and now I am left on my own.  OH NOOOOOO!!!

With boat and bathing suit season being just around the corner, I am looking at getting in shape to where I actually want to wear a bathing suit and not something that looks like a Birka.  Enter the Insanity workout

If you have watched any late night TV, you have seen Shaun T and his crew pitching his workout program.  I have to say I was a little scared about trying this, but after watching a portion of the workout on YouTube, I know I can do this.  I am also dragging Paul along in this journey and he’s eagerly coming along for the ride.

Being he is a runner, this interval training is a lot different then the repetitive workouts he has been doing.  I hope my knee holds up with all the jumping I am thinking are ahead.  I am also adopting the eating plan that came with the program.  According to the equation for daily calorie burn, i have been eating any where from 800 to 1000 less then I should for optimal weight loss.  This morning I choked down a bowl of oatmeal with protein powder, fruit and walnuts.  Gag!! We’ll see if I see a difference eating more.

Another exciting event this week is that I will be getting my hair extensions!! I have for my whole life wanted long flowing hair.  Unfortunately, I was morning with fine hair and its ability to grow to any thing other than thin and baby like is not possible.  Can not wait!!

I think this week is going to be a good week!

 

The New Normal

Today makes my first full week of my new ‘normal’ routine.  My first employment-free week.  While losing one’s job is on the list of life’s most traumatic events, I am determined to not let the events of the past week derail my forward progress I have made over the past (almost) year in my year of self-improvement.

What I have learned over the past year is that NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING in life happens by chance.  Each moment, each interaction, each experience is given to us as an opportunity to learn.  The universe gives us all the tools we need to be happy, we just need to pay attention.

So here we are, Old Sarah would have fallen into a disgusting spiral of anger, shame and self-loathing.  New me is looking for the silver-lining.  Here’s what I have learned so far:

It’s Better to Have Loved and Lost . . .

Our family experienced its first loss with the death of our beloved dog, Beans.  Its been a trying time for the kids, as they haven’t had to deal with the death of a non-furry loved one, but I feel fortunate we got to navigate the emotions of grieving on Beans.  We have had some rather candid conversations of what happens when you die, what we do with the body after death and appropriate ways to memorialize him.  E even found a way to make me snap out of my intermittent crying with a comment asking since Beans had been cremated, should we call him Baked Beans.  Totally inappropriate, but a great way to clear the air.  Kids are way more resilient they we give them credit for.

Beans provided a great deal of laughter, fine cuddles and memorable moments. Especially his uncanny ability to punctuate his feelings by defecating or urinating on you or your most prized possessions.  I am very blessed to have spent 11 years with him and as an acquaintance said to me at yoga the other day, I hope Beans spirit finds me again in this life.

You Spend a Whole Hell of A lot of Time at Work, Make Sure You Enjoy It!

I HATED my job.  I dreaded Mondays, I counted down the hours until Friday and wished away weeks of my life.  It wasn’t that I disliked the people, in-fact, they were the main reason I stayed longer than I should have.

I reported to a boss for the lack of any other reasonable explanation, didn’t get me and never really cared to. I kept an actual calendar with our interactions.  I once went 2 months without her even returning a good-morning or hello to me.  The universe had been telling me over and over and over again that it was time to move on, but I fought it and finally on October 16th, I was told that my position had been abolished and to collect some of my things and to find the door.  Nice.

Had I quit like I had originally planned, I wouldn’t have gotten the generous severance package I received nor would I be able to collect unemployment while I contemplate (again) the  answer to the question of what I want to do when I grow up.  What I can tell you the next job will not require me to compromise my moral beliefs, nor will be a place I feel embarrassed to say I was employed. Nor will I dread going there day in and day out.

And the Journey Begins

I plan to use this blog to help me navigate my next move in life and as a platform to evaluate past experiences that I feel have brought me to where I am today.  Tomorrow I plan on starting a 30 day practice to create something every day for 30 days as a way to regain some of the creative juices I feel have been sucked from me from my unfulfilling job.

To start they 30 day practice, I started with a new look.  Here’s my sassy new hairstyle. Thanks Bridg, for the do!  Who said a new hairdo can’t make you feel like a new woman!

Good Night and Namaste Friends!

Times They are a Changing

I am writing this as I sit at our kitchen table listening to a group of 8 year old blaring Ke$ha on the radio and creating what sounds like a fairly elaborate dance routine. Hearing them in the basement has brought a huge flash back of memories (both good and bad) of years gone by.

Fundamentally, girls have not changed since I was 8, in groups they giggle, whisper and unfortunately gossip and manipulate each other. I would like to say that changes, but it doesn’t the giggling just get louder and the gossiping just get worse and the manipulating gets more crafty. My delusions of a smarter more forgiving generation are fading quickly. But that isn’t the reason for this post.

What is most surprising to me and this first sleep over is the amount of technology that was present even on the ride home. Our home is now filled with an extra iPad, iPod and a Nook. Upon driving into our driveway, I was asked if Sarah_Home was ours and if they could get the password for our wifi. My children both have laptops that were supposed to be used exclusively reading assignments and have since been taking away when more gameplay then reading was being done on them.

This was the sight I saw when I woke up with morning. 3 girls side-by-side, connected to technology.

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I think technology is great and my iPhone is glued to my side way more than I care to admit. Kids today are growing up fast.  Too fast and before you know it, they will be sitting next to each other texting rather than actually talking. Not sure what the solution is to getting kids to spend time face to face, but think the first step is as parents we check the electronics at the door and lead by example.

Is it worth it?

It’s been said that in derby it’s not a matter of IF you get injured, but WHEN. As a new skater, you think that it won’t happen to you. Much like the euphoric stage of a relationship, you deny the actual risks. It won’t happen to me, it can’t happen to me. Then reality slaps you in the face when your first teammate goes down. And your left wondering is it worth the risk.

Major injuries like the three tib/fib breaks we have experienced on our team can be a life-changing event for the player. Not only does it put your day-to-day life on hold and drastically change that, but the medical bills and missed work can wreck havoc on ones personal finances.

Even minor injuries can leave you on the side lines and medical expenses spent at physical therapy, the chiropractor or like me, I ended up having weekly massages to keep my shin splints at bay can really add up.

“Is it worth the risk?” I was asked this question by a co-worker I was talking to about the most recent injury and it’s a question I have thought long and hard about. My answer is yes, playing derby for me is worth the risk.

Derby has given me a hobby, a support system and a means of exercise that I have longed for most of my life. I know that I have a group of women who hold me accountable, encourage me to push myself and are there to catch me if I fall.

Afterall, in reality nothing comes without risk and I could break my leg falling down the stairs or letting my dogs out one morning. At least a derby leg break gives you some street cred and makes a fun story to tell the grandkids.

So I will lace up my skates, try to quiet the worrisome part of my brain and hope to skate another injury free day.

Hello, My name is Sarah and I am a sew-a-holic.

Olivia for the past couple of months has desperately wanted to sew and design her own clothing.  In fact, she received a creative award from her Kindergarten teacher in which she was named a future fashion designer.  Not 100% sure where this came from, but as we say here in the Bignall Family, “Let your freak flag fly!”

On a recent trip to Duluth we purchased a small and crappy sewing machine.  Seriously, this is one of the WORST creations ever.  Trying not to discourage Olivia’s creativity, I fashioned a dress form for her American Girl doll out of duct tape and batting.  Olivia went crazy on making her own creations, but still struggled with the construction of them once she got them pinned on there. Enter my obsessive compulsiveness.

The Addiction Takes Hold

It all started quite innocently as all addictions do I am sure, it started small.  Feeling inspired by some upcylced clothing Liv and I saw, we set out to design some re-purposed clothing of our own.  We started with an old tank and came up with this creations which I like to say is Grecian inspired.  Very cute, its all innocent enough

I just need one more fix . . .

Grecian dress turned into racer back dress, which turned into a small wrap, which turned into a me cutting up my old Poison t-shirt for a rocker look.  I then found myself savaging the house for the perfect shade of red in a 100% cotton jersey knit shirt.  Sure I might have just bought that last month, but it was for a good cause.  Right . . .

I would like to share with you that the obsession stopped there, but no.  It did not.

I need to be  fair to both kids. The kids, right .. .

Ethan started feeling left out my all the creations that were being made so I HAD to make him something. This sparked a series of original creations.  And the addiction continued to grow.

These sleep pants turned into this. A simple pillowcase dress that needed to be jazzed up a bit.

And Here We Are

I would like to say that I stopped there, but I didn’t.  I ended up creating another dress for Liv off the same pillowcase this morning on a rare morning off of work.   I had intended to clean the house, workout or do something else otherwise productive, but instead I made another dress.

While I know spending this much time crafting is probably a bit compulsive, it has been a great stress reliever and I have found that the creativity I thought I had lost so many years ago is still there inside me.  I fully intend on scaling back the creations as 7 pieces in 4 days is a bit ridiculous, but like any junkie, I won’t give it completely up.